Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Could Never Be Your Woman - Review

It seems somewhat surprising that a movie from the writer-director of both Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless could go straight to DVD, but that's the case with Amy Heckerling's I Could Never Be Your Woman. Great movie, bad title, unfortunate turn of events regarding its release. The movie, which stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd, is a satirical romantic comedy about about forty-something Hollywood writer/single mom falling for the twenty-something star of her hit - but fading - sitcom. As romantic-comedy it is pretty standard entertainment, but as a satire of contemporary American society via Hollywood stereotypes, it is, in a word, hilarious. Heckerling's plot and dialogue are every bit is entertaining, realistic, perceptive, and funny as her best known movies. Pfeiffer is engaging as always, and Rudd is hysterical. The movie is also a great start for young actress Saoirse Ronan who "wowed" everyone with her Golden Globe nominated performance in Atonement. The satire of contemporary music via Ronan singing altered versions of hit pop songs is a highlight of the movie. Additionally, Tracy Ulmann is featured throughout the movie as "Mother Nature" who converses with Pfeiffer about the pitfalls of aging. It is mildly amusing criticism of the aging Baby Boom generation and its obsession with staying young.

Apparently, the film was originally scheduled for release in 2005, but was bumped repeatedly until it was shelved. Various explanations include mismanagement from its small indie producer, conflict over financing and marketing from major studios, opposition to the satire that hit too close to home in Hollywood (this one seems hard to believe), and simple unfortunate twists of fate. It's a shame that a satirical gem like this can be shelved while mindless and poorly written movies such as "My Bosses Daughter" or "What Happens in Vegas" are released and endlessly hyped. Regardless of its past, this movie is quite entertaining, and it's worth renting.

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